If you’ve been watched an NFL game or wagered on game from an NBA pick, you’ve likely heard the term pick’em on ESPN, Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, Pick’em and Fantasy football sites. Perhaps you’re a novice sports gambler or investor and heard it but don’t know what pick’em means? No problem. In this post we’ll cover the definition of pick’em, what it means and how its used. Pick’em is an everyday word in sports betting, but before you can understand what pick’em means, you’ll need to understand the basics of sports betting and the wager types. For example, if you ever received and NFL pick from an expert handicapper or handicapping service, and clicked thru to your local sports book to review the odds and lines, you’ll find the bet type of point spread applied to the upcoming weeks NFL games. The point spread is the value the sports books or Vegas odds makers will place on a game to drive some action from sports bettors on both sides of the teams. For the purpose of this post, you can learn more about what is a point spread here.
The basic concept is the odds maker will apply a point spread to a game (ex. NFL or NHL game), to entice betting action for both teams. This creates what is known as ‘juice’ or ‘vig’ and how the sportsbook will make their money.
For example, if you took and NFL pick from an expert handicapper or handicapping service, and used their NFL pick to place a sports bet at a sportsbook, then whatever the point spread was when you placed the bet there involved juice or vig that the sportsbook created to earn their money. The juice is exactly the amount that a bettor gives up for placing the bet, usually 10%.
The interesting thing is that many sports bettors and sports investors think the point spread is created by a sportbooks actual prediction. This is not true. The spread is always established to create interest in betting for both the teams. In case the spread only attracts heavy action on one side, a sportsbook will try to adjust the spread to bring some action on the other side. If your using an expert handicapper service, a good capper will watch for this and advise their clients of there is any movement in the spread or lines as this can create an advantage for the bettor. While you may have your favorite sportsbook like Bodog, Pinnacle, Bookmaker, Bet365, Stan James, etc. to wager at, a smart sports investor will watch the line movement at a few different sports books to take advantage. While this can be daunting to monitor multiple sports books at the same time, there are odd tracking services like Donbest and OddsShark that consolidate the lines and provide a real-time feed at a nominal cost for the more serious sports investor or professional expert handicapping service.
Now, when there are no point spreads involved, then the bet becomes a pick’em. A pick’em bet is when there are no point spreads posted or involved. The handicapper or sports bettor just has to pick the winner. If that team wins, the handicapper or bettor wins irrespective of point spread and position of team on the spread line. To put it in simple words, pick’em just means that both teams have even spread and you pick the winner.
A pick em sports bet eliminates the risk by betting on a team irrespective of spread, and you do not have to worry about your lack of knowledge of team performance, form and past record.
Professional sports bettors, serious sports investors and expert handicapper try to avoid betting on teams with similar records and history using pick’em. Since the probability of a win remains the same for both teams, the chances of winning the bet will not go above 50%. However, many novice sports gamblers prefer betting on pick’em games since its easy to understand, appears to be less risk to them choosing the wrong team, and in any case in a pick’em situation, both teams will give their best in such games.
As you evolve your sports investing and devise your betting strategy, you may find opportunities in pick’em games where underlying data may present itself to you where both teams seem to be evenly matched, but opportunities may present itself to discover how one of the teams performs in certain weather conditions, field types, home vs. away when playing against the same team. A reputable expert handicapper will look at this type of data, including odds and lines and much more when determining their pick selections.